The team that performed the first minimally invasive lung biopsy procedure at Valley Hospital.
Valley Hospital now offers the technology and physician expertise to obtain lung biopsy tissue samples from deep within the lung to improve diagnosis and treatment opportunities for lung disease.
The technology, formally known as the Ion endoluminal system by Intuitive, is a robotic-assisted platform for minimally invasive lung biopsies. It features an ultra-thin, ultra-maneuverable catheter that allows navigation far into the peripheral lung, along with the stability needed for a precise biopsy compared to manual techniques.
“Lung biopsies are sometimes necessary to help diagnose an abnormality found in the chest during a CT scan or chest X-ray,” explained Lloyd Del Mundo, DO, pulmonologist with Pulmonary Associates and the first physician to utilize the procedure at Valley Hospital. “This could be lung cancer or another medical issue, and the goal is to access these lesions early. If we can diagnose cancer at stage one, we will significantly increase a patient’s survivability, and the patient can even beat the cancer. This impact is huge to our community. With lung cancer being the leading cause of cancer death, it is imperative we give our patients the best chance. The best chances come in the form of early diagnosis and getting them on the right treatment plan as soon as possible.
“This also goes beyond lung cancer,” said Dr. Del Mundo. “It will help in diagnosing infections, inflammatory diseases and many other lung issues. For example, we are still in the infant stages of post-COVID issues and have to see what other problems can develop from COVID.”
Lung Disease in Nevada
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 2,030 Nevadans will be diagnosed with new cases of lung and bronchus cancer in 2022. It is estimated to be the leading cause of cancer deaths in Nevada, with an estimated 1,170 deaths statewide in 2022.*
“We need a heightened awareness of the illness and injury impacting our lungs,” said Claude Wise, CEO of Valley Hospital. “We are proud to offer this technology because it provides a greater reach, stability and precision than other bronchial surgery devices, and at the end of the day, our goal is to help our patients have a good diagnosis so they can work with their physician on a treatment path.”